Jiwon Choi: The Sky is Everywhere

Jiwon Choi (Red)

The Sky Is Everywhere By: Jandy Nelson

   The book The Sky is Everywhere is a young adult fiction book written by Jandy Nelson. It was first published on March 9, 2010.  The Sky is Everywhere was a popular book from 2010-2011. This book has a lot of interesting facts including that this book was the author’s first novel that was published. This book was noted as one of YALSA’s 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults and earned starred reviews from the Publishers Weekly and Voices of Youth Advocates. It was one of NPR’s top five teen reads of the year, ABC 2010 New Voice Pick, one of Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books for 2010. This book was also nominated for the Best young Adult Fiction category on Goodreads. The Sky is Everywhere is about Lennie Walker’s conflicts and struggles in her life after her sister suddenly dies. 

   Lennie Walker always spent time with her older sister named Bailey. She was always tucked safely in Bailey’s shadow until Bailey suddenly dies. After Bailey dies, she finds herself struggling to let go of her sister. Lennie also finds herself struggling to balance the two boys that were nonexistent in her life before. Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend and Joe, the new boy in town. Toby is the boy that comforts her, the boy that helps her remember Bailey. On the other hand, Joe is the musical genius that every girl loves. He takes Lennie’s sorrow away, letting her to let go of her sister when she is with him. Now, her life becomes dangerous. It is like a timer to when the bomb is going to explode. Toby and Lennie does things that make her regret, make her think that she betrayed her sister. In the other hand, she finds out that Joe likes her and she is the happiest girl in the world. One day, when Joe sees Toby and Lennie kissing, she almost ruins her relationship.  Later, Lennie goes through many painful discoveries. She finds out that her mother’s loss is tied in with Bailey’s death. She also discovers her sister’s secrets, the reason why their mother left, and her grandmother's pain. In the end, she tries to understand everything, and she lets go of Bailey.

     My favorite character in the story is Joe because of his personalities. Also, I like him because I think that I want to be a person like Joe; he is a guy that is perfect. He is a musical genius; he can play any instrument well and can compose songs. Moreover, he is handsome, kind, and calm. He is a character that has almost no flaws at all to me. I want to be a person like him, and that is probably why he is my favorite character in the book. 

     Death was the most important theme of the book. The book mostly revolved about Bailey’s death and how Lennie is dealing with this. However, I believe there were other important themes like love and life. Lennie’s grandmother’s love, Joe’s love, Lennie’s love, and Toby’s love. Each character makes mistakes in the story that they regret, and thats how they start to live life. They make mistakes, and learn. This book is really sad, and I had a lot of heartbreaks while reading the story, but the funny and cute moments automatically put a smile on my face. 

   The character that I relate to the most is probably Lennie Walker. I can relate to her because I have felt the way she felt, and I have made mistakes that I regretted like she made mistakes and regretted. When my grandfather died, I couldn’t get over the grief for days and weeks. I always felt sorry because I have never done anything to please him. I wanted a second chance to see him again, to say that I love him, that he doesn’t need to feel lonely. I couldn’t let go of him easily just like Lennie couldn’t let go of her sister easily. Furthermore, I make a ton of mistakes that I wish I can take back after the mistake is done. They aren’t like the mistakes that Lennie made but I know how she felt when she made the mistakes and regretted them. That is probably why I was very fond of Lennie. 

   I really liked the book. It was very sad at times but it was a really cute book. I never read a book like this type before, therefore, it was really new to me. I liked this book because I was able understand Lennie after a while. She went through a lot over the short period of time and I was really drawn to her and of course Joe. 

     Some strengths of this book are the characters in the story and the storyline. I like the fact that the characters in the story make mistakes just like people in reality. Also, the storyline was a topic that I was able to follow easily because I know that many people know the feeling of someone precious to them gone. I was able to feel really emotional during the book, which I think is the biggest strength. However, I didn’t like the ending of the book. I wanted to learn more about the other characters, but the story ended in a disappointing way. I was really mad when I found out when I found out that it was the end of the story because it didn’t really seem like an end of a book. 

     I would definitely recommend this book to others. It is a beautiful book to read. Once you start reading the book, you can’t let go of it. It also makes you want to know what is going to happen next.... Even after the last page of the book. However, if you don’t like romance, you wouldn’t want to read this book because there is a lot of romance and romance stories in the book. 

    Finally, I want to share a few quotes from the story that I thought were touching to me. A few of them were: 

  • “The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”
  • “My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”
  • “I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.”

  I really love the second quote because I know that every time I lose someone who is really meaningful to me, I will always feel that way. It happens to everyone in this world, losing someone that they really love. Along with, having to get over it. The first quote is what really encompasses the book in my opinion. It even says part of it on the book cover, and I agree. We haven’t thought that the sky is everywhere except the earth, and this quote let me think about this for a moment. Lastly, the third quote is just what I always thought about. Sometimes, I would look down to my shadow on a sunny day, and I would ask myself the same thing as the quote says. 


"The Sky Is Everywhere." By Jandy Nelson. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <http://www.theskyiseverywhere.com/praise.php>.

"The Sky Is Everywhere | IndieBound." The Sky Is Everywhere | IndieBound. Indiebound, n.d. Web. 29 May 2013. <http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780803734951/Jandy-Nelson/Sky-Everywhere>.

My Creative Piece

Chapter 38: The Alternate Ending

    After Gram and I are done getting ready for Uncle Big’s wedding, I go outside to my front porch. I see Joe walking to my direction, but not alone. He’s coming with Toby. I walk up to them, fraught with confusion. 

“Hey,” says Joe. 

“Hi, Joe... What’s going on?” I ask him.

The two boys looks at each other and smiles.

“We decided to become friends. I’ll teach him how to skateboard, and he’ll teach me music,” says Toby with a smile on his face.

“What?” I ask, still confused. 

Joe comes up to me, directly looking at me in my eyes. “I don’t want to just forgive you and love you without being comfortable around Toby. I understood you, so... I decided that I Toby should be understood also,” says Joe, “your sister isn’t going to approve me and you if I hate her fiancé.”

I hug him tight, so tight that I feel like my body is bursting into pieces. I hug him tight because I’m thankful that someone like him is in my life. I know that he’s way too good for me, but I know how my life feels without him. 

I smile at them. “Gram is preparing dinner, lets go in you two.” 

   After Joe and Toby leaves, I go into the woods heading towards the cemetery. The hot afternoon sun is blazing upon everything; the trees, the grass, the flowers, and over the graves. I walk over to Bailey’s grave and sit down beside the gravestone. I reach for my bag and take out the letters that Gram wrote for mom over the last sixteen years. I don’t want Bailey to be the only person not knowing anything about our mother. After all, she was one of the people desperate to find mom. Unlike me. I open her little cabinet door and I see something lustrous. I reach in and pull out a ring. Then, I feel the pain that I felt all over again. I imagine Bailey having her baby, married to Toby. I imagine her wearing the ring that Toby got for her. I imagine her smiling to the sky, happily. I imagine her reading the notes that Gram wrote for mom. Then, I imagine her, Toby, and her baby as one family. Without anyone being hurt, or sick. 

     I miss you, I tell her, You’re going to miss out on so many things. I look at the ring for the last time and I put it back in. I pack my bag and get up. I put one hand on her gravestone, starting to tear up. I start to walk back to my house when I see Bailey with a beautiful smile on her face. I see her ring on her finger, and her stomach that is sticking out a bit. I run up to her and hug her.

“What took you so long?” I asked Bailey.

“Lennie, I’m not missing out on anything. I actually like where I am; the peaceful, painless sky. Even if I’m in a different place from where you are, I’ll always be right next to you. Now, don’t worry about me and go to where you belong,” says Bailey. 

     I realize that I’m crying now, I know that it has to happen. So, I wipe my tears and let go because I know that I didn’t lose anyone. My sister, Gram, Big, my new brother, Toby, and my boyfriend, Joe. They are all right here, next to me.